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US teen beats world #1 chess player (again) Login/Join 
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The truth shall set you free - turns out Niemann has admitted to cheating not just a couple times, as he stated publicly, but over 100 times, including as recently as two years ago, when he was already a GM. I’ve read excerpts of the 72 page Chess.com report, and his career is over. It flags multiple in-person matches as being highly suspect.

When the #1 player in the world (and of all time) flags you as playing in a manner that is not humanly possible, one should listen. Anyone who has ever heard a Magnus interview realizes that he has a chess memory that is unparalleled; he can remember games and positions from matches played 100+ years ago with ease. The image below shows his rise is even faster than Bobby Fischer, Magnus Carlsen, and other absolutely incredible GMs that display a much more stable history of success.



Chess Investigation Finds That U.S. Grandmaster ‘Likely Cheated’ More Than 100 Times

An internal report reviewed by The Wall Street Journal alleges a previously unknown pattern of likely widespread cheating by Hans Moke Niemann, the player whose September victory over Magnus Carlsen has rocked the chess world

By Andrew Beaton and Joshua Robinson
Oct. 4, 2022 3:26 pm ET

Now, however, an investigation into Niemann’s play—conducted by Chess.com, an online platform where many top players compete—has found the scope of his cheating to be far wider and longer-lasting than he publicly admitted.

The report, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, alleges that Niemann likely received illegal assistance in more than 100 online games, as recently as 2020. Those matches included contests in which prize money was on the line. The site uses a variety of cheating-detection tools, including analytics that compare moves to those recommended by chess engines, which are capable of beating even the greatest human players every time.

The report states that Niemann privately confessed to the allegations, and that he was subsequently banned from the site for a period of time.

The 72-page report also flagged what it described as irregularities in Niemann’s rise through the elite ranks of competitive, in-person chess. It highlights “many remarkable signals and unusual patterns in Hans’ path as a player.”

While it says Niemann’s improvement has been “statistically extraordinary.” Chess.com noted that it hasn’t historically been involved with cheat detection for classical over-the-board chess, and it stopped short of any conclusive statements about whether he has cheated in person. Still, it pointed to several of Niemann’s strongest events, which it believes “merit further investigation based on the data.” FIDE, chess’s world governing body, is conducting its own investigation into the Niemann-Carlsen affair.

“Outside his online play, Hans is the fastest rising top player in Classical [over-the-board] chess in modern history,” the report says, while comparing his progress to the game’s brightest rising stars. “Looking purely at rating, Hans should be classified as a member of this group of top young players. While we don’t doubt that Hans is a talented player, we note that his results are statistically extraordinary.”

Chess.com, which is in the process of buying Carlsen’s Play Magnus app, is a popular platform for both casual players and grandmasters alike. It has more than 90 million members and also hosts big tournaments for elite players with lucrative prize money.

Niemann didn’t respond to requests for comment. When he addressed the controversy last month, he said that he had dedicated himself to over-the-board chess after he was caught cheating, in order to prove himself as a player.

The controversy erupted in early September at the prestigious Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, where Niemann upset Carlsen while playing with the black pieces, which is a disadvantage. Carlsen then abruptly quit the tournament. Though the Norwegian didn’t accuse Niemann of impropriety at the time, the chess community interpreted his action as a protest.

The pair met again in an online event weeks later, and Carlsen quit their game after making just one move. Days later, the world No. 1 publicly confirmed his suspicions of Niemann.

“I believe that Niemann has cheated more—and more recently—than he has publicly admitted,” Carlsen wrote in his first public statement on the matter on Sept. 26. “His over the board progress has been unusual, and throughout our game in the Sinquefield Cup I had the impression that he wasn’t tense or even fully concentrating on the game in critical positions, while outplaying me as black in a way I think only a handful of players can do.”

When Niemann addressed the suspicions last month, he said the only instance in which he cheated in an event with prize money was when he was 12. He said he later cheated as a 16-year-old, in “random games,” and that they were the biggest mistakes of his life. He also said he never cheated while live-streaming a game.

“I would never, could even fathom doing it, in a real game,” he said.

The Chess.com report contradicts those statements. It says several prize-money events are included in the 100-plus suspect games and that he was live-streaming the contests during 25 of them. It adds that he was 17 years old during the most recent violations, which subsequently led Chess.com to close his account. A letter sent to Niemann included in the report notes “blatant cheating” to improve his rating in various games, including in one against Russian chess star Ian Nepomniachtchi, Carlsen’s most recent challenger for the World Chess Championship.

Niemann in 2020 confessed to the allegations in a phone call with the platform’s chief chess officer, Danny Rensch, the report says. The report also includes screenshots of subsequent Slack messages between the two in which they discuss a possible return to the site, which is permitted for players who admit their wrongdoing.

Niemann last month questioned why he was banned from the Chess.com Global Championship, a million-dollar prize event. Shortly thereafter, Rensch wrote a letter to Niemann explaining that “there always remained serious concerns about how rampant your cheating was in prize events” and that there was too much at stake. The letter added that Niemann’s suspicious moves coincided with moments when he had opened up a different screen on his computer—implying that he was consulting a chess engine for the best move.

“We are prepared to present strong statistical evidence that confirm each of those cases above, as well as clear ‘toggling’ vs ‘non-toggling’ evidence, where you perform much better while toggling to a different screen during your moves,” Rensch wrote.

Chess.com has historically handled its bans privately, as it did with Niemann in 2020. The platform deviated from that over the last month with Niemann, the report says, after he publicly addressed his communications with Chess.com and his ban from the site’s Global Championship. The report said Chess.com felt “compelled to share the basis” for its decisions.

The report says that Chess.com uses a variety of cheat-detection tools, including: analytics that compare moves to those recommended by chess engines; studies of a player’s past performance and strength profile; monitoring behavior such as players opening up other browsers while playing; and input from grandmaster fair play analysts.

Computers have “nearly infallible tactical calculation,” the report says, and are capable of beating even the best human every single time. The report says dozens of grandmasters have been caught cheating on the website, including four of the top-100 players in the world who confessed.

Identifying violations in over-the-board games remains a major challenge. The main reason is that grandmasters who cheat require very little assistance. For a player operating in elite circles, a couple of subtle moves in critical spots can be enough to tilt the balance against a world champion. That makes definitively proving allegations of cheating difficult unless a player is caught in the act—by using a phone in the bathroom, wearing a small earpiece or receiving signals from someone in the audience.

Niemann first crossed 2300 in the ELO rating system used by chess in late 2015 or early 2016, as an obviously gifted preteen. It took him more than two years to push that number above 2400 and another two to begin flirting with 2500—grandmaster territory—in late 2020. He achieved grandmaster status at the age of 17 in January 2021 and began his drive toward the rarefied atmosphere of the super grandmasters. This made him a relatively late-bloomer compared to some of his peers.

In the ELO system, the fastest way to make large jumps is to win a lot and beat people who are rated above you. Over the next 18 months, Niemann picked up more than 180 ELO points. Data collected by chess.com measuring the strength of his play shows a rise steeper than any of the top young players in the world.

“Our view of the data is that Hans, however, has had an uncharacteristically erratic growth period mired by consistent plateaus,” the report says.

The report also addresses Niemann’s postgame analysis of the moves from his game against Carlsen, which top players say showed a lack of understanding of the positions he had just played. It says Niemann’s analysis seems “to be at odds with the level of preparation that Hans claimed was at play in the game and the level of analysis needed to defeat the World Chess Champion.”

In a private conversation after the game, the report says, Carlsen said it was unlike any game he’s ever played. Carlsen said that when he played prodigies in the past, they exerted themselves with great effort. Niemann, on the other hand, appeared to play effortlessly.

The report also addresses the relationship during the saga between Carlsen and Chess.com, which is buying Carlsen’s “Play Magnus” app for nearly $83 million. The report says that while Carlsen’s actions at the Sinquefield Cup prompted them to reassess Niemann’s behavior, Carlsen “didn’t talk with, ask for, or directly influence Chess.com’s decisions at all.” Rensch had previously said that Chess.com had never shared a list of cheaters or the platform’s cheat detection algorithm with Carlsen.

Niemann, speaking at the Sinquefield Cup, shared his own views of Chess.com’s anti-cheating methods.

“They have the best cheat detection in the world,” he said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/c...-carlsen-11664911524
 
Posts: 2194 | Location: S. FL | Registered: October 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
PopeDaddy
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And some more reporting from the OP’s source…

Apparently, he has confessed.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/ne...00-TIMES-online.html


0:01
 
Posts: 3979 | Location: ALABAMA | Registered: January 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
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Yeah this guy is not a dick.

No, really. Not a dick. Yep



Is he still a "prodigy" after cheating hundreds of times?

This melon farmer just had to be American, huh? Couldn't have been Swiss or Canadian or something. No, he had to be an American. Roll Eyes
 
Posts: 99633 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Baroque Bloke
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quote:
Originally posted by x0225095:
And some more reporting from the OP’s source…

Apparently, he has confessed.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/ne...00-TIMES-online.html

Re: “Apparently, he has confessed.”

It’s old news that Niemann confessed to cheating in chess.com games. He claims that the last time he cheated in Internet play was at age 16. Yeah, he doesn’t have much credibility to back up his claimed redemption. It’s easier to cheat in such games.

But, AFAIK, there’s no objective evidence that Niemann has cheated in over the board matches. Some folks say that statistical analysis provides such evidence. OTOH, chess cheating expert Ken Regan, who uses statistical methods, finds no evidence that Niemann has cheated in over the board matches:
https://en.chessbase.com/post/...t-ken-regan-analyzes



Serious about crackers.
 
Posts: 7319 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Pipe Smoker, the new revelation is that he has cheated not just a couple times, but over 100 times (and has confessed to that), including matches against the world #2.

On page 5 of the report, Dr. Regan acknowledges that Hans has cheated, including multiple times in 2020, when he was 17. All online, yes, but Chess.com only has access to online full data (clicks, software, etc). FIDE is doing a full investigation of OTB games, but there’s more than enough data in the Chess.com report to be damning.
 
Posts: 2194 | Location: S. FL | Registered: October 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Baroque Bloke
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^^^^^^^^
Re: “FIDE is doing a full investigation of OTB games”

Good on FIDE. But an investigation isn’t evidence.

Re: “there’s more than enough data in the Chess.com report to be damning.”

The Chess.com report covers OTB games?



Serious about crackers.
 
Posts: 7319 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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PS, the Chess.com report is very explicit in that it states Niemann cheated in online games (on Chess.com) as they have the actual data to corroborate their claims.

The also go in depth on six different OTB tournaments where Niemann’s performance was suspicious and out of statistical bounds, but are very careful (as those are run by FIDE, not Chess.com) to state that they are “suspicious” and need further investigation.

The smoking gun is 100+ times online, for money, and confessed.
 
Posts: 2194 | Location: S. FL | Registered: October 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
PopeDaddy
Picture of x0225095
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quote:
Originally posted by Pipe Smoker:
quote:
Originally posted by x0225095:
And some more reporting from the OP’s source…

Apparently, he has confessed.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/ne...00-TIMES-online.html

Re: “Apparently, he has confessed.”

It’s old news that Niemann confessed to cheating in chess.com games. He claims that the last time he cheated in Internet play was at age 16. Yeah, he doesn’t have much credibility to back up his claimed redemption. It’s easier to cheat in such games.

But, AFAIK, there’s no objective evidence that Niemann has cheated in over the board matches. Some folks say that statistical analysis provides such evidence. OTOH, chess cheating expert Ken Regan, who uses statistical methods, finds no evidence that Niemann has cheated in over the board matches:
https://en.chessbase.com/post/...t-ken-regan-analyzes


Pipe Smoker…friend, I’m just reading the article. Personally, the only thing I know that the son-of-a-bitch is guilty of is needing a haircut. But, to me, it doesn’t look like he is someone that I would want to vouch for, ”American” or not.


0:01
 
Posts: 3979 | Location: ALABAMA | Registered: January 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ermagherd,
10 Mirrimerter!
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A somewhat similar situation came recently in a high stakes poker game amongst professionals

A new player, girlfriend of a known pro, gets in the game and makes a couple of statistically impossible calls/moves against players that no one would ever make.

With the hole cam we can see all of the action post mortem now.

Poker game theory is almost like chess, almost a solved game to the top Pros, not so much for the rest of us .

Basically , she had to cheat, but they can’t prove if and how. Pretty much the situation here from what I understand


I quit school in elementary because of recess.......too many games
--Riff Raff--
 
Posts: 2827 | Location: WV | Registered: September 02, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Ice Cream Man
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So, time to start hosting the games inside faraday cages?
 
Posts: 5083 | Location: Republic of Ice Cream, Myrtle Beach, SC | Registered: May 24, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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sigfreund, I linked and posted that entire article above.

Hans Niemann is a very very good player in his own right; that’s what makes his cheating even more saddening, as he is clearly talented enough to compete (although likely not a top-10 talent).
 
Posts: 2194 | Location: S. FL | Registered: October 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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quote:
Originally posted by reloader-1:
sigfreund, I linked and posted that entire article above.

I actually checked, and they are not the same. Pretty much, but not exactly and therefore I thought the difference was worthy of its own post. Perhaps one was the pre-print version?

In any event I deleted the post. I have found that when I am challenged about something I post here, it is better to simply delete it lest I become drawn into arguments I try to avoid.




7/93
 
Posts: 46084 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by reloader-1:
as he is clearly talented enough to compete

Yep, sad indeed—clearly talented enough to beat Carlsen OTB.



Year V
 
Posts: 2478 | Registered: November 05, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Baroque Bloke
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We’ll be seeing. Hans is participating in the US chess championship at St. Louis:

https://www.stltoday.com/news/...bb-72e9d68f758e.html



Serious about crackers.
 
Posts: 7319 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Imagination and focus
become reality
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Niemann won his round 1 game.
 
Posts: 6215 | Location: Northwest Indiana | Registered: August 15, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Niemann won round 1 against Chris Yoo, who is rated 2563. For reference, Magnus Carlsen (world #1) is rated at 2880.

Rating is not linear, the difference between those is stark. It would only be a slight exaggeration to say that a rank beginner is closer to Chris Yoo, than Chris Yoo is to Magnus Carlsen.

Basically, Niemann won a game against an FCS school in football terms, or something like Vanderbilt or Navy. He’s not playing against Alabama or Georgia…
 
Posts: 2194 | Location: S. FL | Registered: October 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by ElKabong:
A somewhat similar situation came recently in a high stakes poker game amongst professionals

A new player, girlfriend of a known pro, gets in the game and makes a couple of statistically impossible calls/moves against players that no one would ever make.

With the hole cam we can see all of the action post mortem now.

Poker game theory is almost like chess, almost a solved game to the top Pros, not so much for the rest of us .

Basically , she had to cheat, but they can’t prove if and how. Pretty much the situation here from what I understand


I watched the video of that last night. If she was cheating, and if she knew exactly what he was holding, it still makes no sense for her to call the bet.

Even though she statistically had the best hand at that given moment, the other player statistically had the highest probability of winning, based on the cards on the table and what he was holding.

It would have been one thing for her to call that bet if she was an 80/20 favorite. But she was a 53/47 underdog.

I do not know how experienced she is, but my guess is she either did not correctly recall her hand. Or if she tried to do the math in her head, she did it completely wrong.

There is no way a good player, someone who knows the math, knowing exactly what all of those cards were, makes that call. That's why I am guessing she did not cheat. If she knew, she would have folded in a heartbeat.
 
Posts: 2033 | Location: Orlando | Registered: April 22, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Baroque Bloke
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Another win for Niemann, playing white, in his round 2 game against Xiong.



Serious about crackers.
 
Posts: 7319 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
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Explain this to me, if you can. The guy has been caught cheating, confessed to cheating over 100 times, which likely means he cheated over 500 times, and he's still being allowed to play?

Why would he be allowed to continue professionally, and why would anyone with any integrity pay any attention to his matches?
 
Posts: 99633 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Unapologetic Old
School Curmudgeon
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Have they said how he was cheating?




Don't weep for the stupid, or you will be crying all day
 
Posts: 10382 | Location: TN | Registered: December 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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